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City of Grand Rapids looking for volunteers to join CERT team to help in disaster situations

Hilary Farrell

The City of Grand Rapids is looking for volunteers to serve on its first Community Emergency Response Team.

The CERT team will be overseen by the city’s Office of Emergency Management. Members in the program will focus on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery training.

The idea is to train community members how to deal with emergency situations if a disaster were to occur in Grand Rapids.

The city says skills learned in the CERT program will allow the team to be resilient and help their families and neighbors while waiting for first responders.

CERT members will also provide valuable information once first responders arrive on scene.

According to the city this includes, assisting in an evacuation, handing out donations, preparing food for first responders, and other tasks.

“This volunteer opportunity can truly make an impact on your community,” said Allison Farole, emergency management administrator in a press release. “We encourage you to become a valued member of GR's first city-focused disaster volunteer program and learn skills that can help you and your neighborhood if disaster strikes.”

Training will be conducted by the city’s Office of Emergency staff and its partners including both the Grand Rapids Fire and Police Departments.

Community members interested in participating can register online here. Level 1 training begins next week with courses scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 22 & 24 and September 6.